This short story is for business owners or those wanting to build their own business.


It’s everywhere, marketing.

The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements – profitably.

It sounds dead easy when we read that neat CIM definition.

And I suppose, when it’s stripped down, it is pretty straight forward in principle.

The more experienced a person is, the better of course.

And the more they care about the work they do.

And the more they have good ideas.

These are all important.

But it’s simply what you do in the space between you and the people you want to influence.

In order to move you towards achieving your business goals.


I want to mention something that is more important than marketing though.


Marketing is subordinate to brand.

Because if a business does not have a brand its marketing will be sub-optimal at best.

Here’s my definition of brand:

A perception held in the mind of a consumer about your product or service.

If you are a business owner that wants to become a brand owner (there’s a difference) – it is your job to engineer these perceptions.

Or to get someone to help you to do so.

Because it’s a science.

And until you do know what you want to be remembered for as a brand, reduce your marketing spend.

To zero.

Because until you know why you are different and better, you cannot expect your customers to either.

So until you have something to say.

Don’t say anything.


There’s only one thing worse than a business owner that does not know why they are different and better.

And that is a creative/design/marketing/brand agency not knowing why their client is different and better.

Because if they don’t know that, the only strategy they have left is you get their client to outspend the competition in the marketing space.

And if they do that, the agency wins – and the client loses.

Because the agency gets fees.

And the client’s profitability is eroded by unnecessarily high marketing spend.



In summary.

Until you know why you are different and better, and why your customers should choose you over the competition, and you’re prepared enough so you can communicate this at every touchpoint simply and consistently, reduce your marketing spend.

To zero.


  1. And, if you need some help to discover and articulate why you are different and better, and why your customers should choose you over your competition – then employ an agency, or an individual who can give you the help you need.

    Invest a little money to unearth your brand’s story. Then you can amplify it through all your subsequent marketing activity. Marketing is essentially about communication. And you can’t communicate if you have nothing to say.

    • I agree for a few reasons.

      The main one though is that, even if you happen to be pretty savvy with brand, marketing and design – how they are different, in which order you should address them and how they dovetail – it’s hard to get perspective on your own brand.

      I always get there in the end.

      But it takes me bloody ages with my own brands.

      I get help from the ANGELFYSH gang (and friends like you) whenever I can.

      Thanks Shaughn.

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